Restoring a Very Special Six-Day Set of Stanwell Pipes of the Year

Many pipe producers release an annual Pipe of the Year – a limited-run pipe in a distinct shape and finish representing the very best a pipemaker can produce each year. Coming from a highly regarded and skilled producer like Stanwell, these Pipes of the Year are top-notch pipes and highly collectible, so I was very…

Read More

Freshening an Andreas Bauer Gourd Calabash

Sharp-eyed readers will have picked out this Gourd Calabash pipe in the picture of my recent estate lot purchase. Hollywood has ensured that the Calabash will be forever linked to the great fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, and indeed many Holmes fans buy a Calabash pipe just to display next to their Arthur Conan Doyle book…

Read More

Reviving a John Redman Ltd Canberra Poker Sitter

I acquired this poker-sitter in a recent estate lot purchase. It arrived on my worktable with a few issues, and I’d find a few more surprises before the refurbishment was complete. A dense, uneven cake lined the bowl and a fairly thick layer of lava covered the rim, but not quite enough to conceal some…

Read More

Restoring a Patent Era Brigham 232 Saddle Billiard

This old Brigham is the pipe I used when writing up my previous post on fixing common stem issues. To paraphrase the late Paul Harvey, here is the rest of the story.  – Charles I spotted this old Brigham in a mixed lot of mostly basket pipes I bought recently. As many of you know,…

Read More

Fixing Another Common Stem Fit Issue – Stem to Shank

A little while back, I wrote up a blog entry on fixing two stem fit problems that crop up regularly – a too-loose stem, and a too-tight stem. Today I’d like to spotlight another common, and completely avoidable, stem problem that I deal with regularly when restoring estate pipes, namely the issue of a stem…

Read More

A Diamond in the Rough – Restoring a Comoy’s Skipper 623

After working on the sandblasted English Kaywoodie La Roche 729 Dublin written about here, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a Comoy’s 623 shape to confirm or disprove my theory that the two pipes share more than a passing amount of DNA. When this Comoy’s Skipper came up on eBay, I placed my bid…

Read More

New Life for a Beaten Dr Plumb Standard 9132 Billiard

I picked up this Dr Plumb billiard off eBay for very little money; the pics below of its original condition will tell you why. It was in rough shape to say the least. The rim had been absolutely destroyed by repeated hard dottle-knocking against stone or brick. The scarred remains were layered with lava and…

Read More

Patching a Pinhole Burnout on a Chateau Bruyere Sitter

This is another pipe sent to me by a fellow member of the Canadian Cigar Forum. As with the Sabra Apple, the pipe belonged to his grandfather and was in need of a bit of work before the owner could use it. I took this series of pics when the pipe arrived. Overall it appeared…

Read More

Fixing Two Common Stem Fit Issues

I had a pair of Brigham pipes sent to me for some work, a 2-Dot Sportsman model bulldog and a 318 billiard. The owner had found the pipes in a local antique shop. The price was right but the pipes had a few issues to contend with, most notably stem fit. The pipe stems were…

Read More

A New Look for an Unknown Billiard

I picked up this old billiard pipe at a local antique market. The stampings were so far gone as to be unreadable, but the pipe seemed to be in decent shape otherwise. The stem was overclocked, and there were a few fills that would need replacing. The pipe was dirty overall, with a cake buildup…

Read More